Dozens of people are paying it forward this Thanksgiving by putting food on the table for those who need it most.
The Central Union Mission in northwest Washington is cooking up a banquet for the homeless Thursday evening.
Sobering statistics shed light on why it's now more important than ever to help out our struggling neighbors. A 2009 report on homelessness found more than 12,000 people in the District living on the streets or in shelters. That’s up 2.4 percent from 2008.
Compare those numbers to five years ago and the trend appears even more troubling. The number of homeless individuals has increased by 6.7 percent since 2005.
“With the continuing challenges of the economy, many people around the Washington area are struggling to make ends meet,” said David O. Treadwell, executive director of the Mission. “The Mission’s annual Thanksgiving banquet is a great opportunity for the community to come together to meet the physical and emotional needs of those who are hurting.”
Treadwell, alongside his team of volunteers, serve up a traditional turkey day meal complete with all the fixings.
More than 300 people fueled up last year. This year, that number is expected to push 400.